Research trends in obesity & obesogenic environments in Korea

  • Lee, Myoungsook (Department of Food and Nutrition & Research Institute of Obesity Sciences, Sungshin Women's University)
  • Received : 2019.07.17
  • Accepted : 2019.10.22
  • Published : 2019.12.01


BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Globally, it has been projected that there will be 2 billion overweight and 1 billion obese individuals by 2030. In Korea, the prevalence of adult obesity (BMI > 25) increased from 29.7% in 2009 to 32.4% in 2015. Moreover, childhood obesity, which leads to adulthood obesity, has increasingly become a social problem. The purpose of this review is to summarize the scientific basis for the development of effective models and policies aimed at preventing obesity over a lifetime based on research modeling obesogenic environments. MATERIALS/METHODS: The review focuses on the characteristics of obesity prevalence and trends in 3P analysis (papers, patents, and products) as well as government-funded projects in Korean obesity obesogenic environments over the last 10 years. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: As a result of the 3P analysis, studies on obesity risk factors were frequently carried out, according to two data bases RISS (4.9%) and PubMed (24.7%). Since there were only 17% patents related to the mechanism of preventing obesity in 7,951 Korean patents related to obesity, new paradigms of technologies to dominate the global obesity markets are needed. After government-funded projects were analyzed, communication and cooperation in multi-governmental departments were suggested to elucidate the characteristics of Korean obesity. Government should also produce short- and long-term road maps to develop a practical, successful outcome. Although the rate of obesity in Korea is currently lower than in other developed countries according to WHO criteria, without adequate governmental intervention, obesity rates will approach those of the top countries with high incidence rates of obesity within the next 10 years.


Supported by : Sungshin Women’s University


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